Wednesday, April 30, 2008

happy, happy, joy, joy

I'm trying to get all the dust out of my eyes this morning, still, even after a nice long shower last night and going to sleep with wet hair. My shoes feel like they have a sand dune in them, every now and then I get a taste of grit-where in the heck is it all coming from? Trying to put on my best smile but man, nothing worse then gunky eyes and sandy shoes to make you miserable for the day. As the title reads, I'm chanting happy, happy, joy, joy. Isn't it true the longer you say something, the more likely it is that you will believe it? So I am attempting to be happy this morning, but give me a moment-gotta empty my shoe again.................

Okay, back at ya. Now you must be asking, what the heck am I doing with all this dirt. Needless to say it's not helping the breathing issues-I know that the Dr is going to chew me out when I go in. We had finally gotten on a road to recovery with this battle. Flat tire, time to pause. But anyway, I digress here. It's the annual spring ritual-4-H obedience has started, once again!! I actually look forward to it. One thing Mom taught me was the value of volunteering. I've been volunteering for about 20 years in the 4-H program in various ways. Horse project, helping at county fair but for the last 9 years, it's been the dog program. Alec and Ellie got involved in 4-H and took our first two dogs-Hope and Addie to the fun match and well, cleaned up. Since they didn't take classes offered but trained at home as well as took classes with an other instructor, the program leader asked if I would help out. Of course I would and look where it's taken me.

I love working with kids. They are the foundation of our society and if we don't take the time to work with them and build them up, scares me to think of where we might be in 20 years-eek. So last night was the first full fledged night for dogs and kids. I have great friend in Tim Miller who is working the agility end of things. So I teach obedience while he works agility, then we flip kids and do it all over again. 4 levels of obedience, then showmanship, rally obedience, agility and who knows what else. Minimum of 3 hours each Tuesday-by the time I get all done it's around 4 hours. This winter , we also started a pet therapy program modeled after the Ohio Pet Pals program and hoping to have a group of kids and dogs pass their TDI's and start doing hospice visits later this fall.

Back to last night. We have our own building up at the fairgrounds now. It's great. We can set up and run a full agility course and still have room for an obedience class in the same building. Unfortunately, and this relates to the whole dust issue this morning, it was very dry in there. Every time a dog moved, it created a cloud of dust. I felt like Pig Pen when I got home last night. I think every person and every dog was coated in a fine layer of it. So the goal is to get a hold of Leonard and have him water it down this week. That in turn could be interesting as we might be working in mud ;0) Considering the lower infield and track at the fair grounds was under several feet of flood water last night, asking to water something might raise an eye brow or two.

There are at least 25 kids in prenovice obedience this year! WOW--many are brand new to the program, which is great. Unfortunately we also lost many kids to graduation last year and the novice class consists of 4. Poor Meredith has a dog in each class except Rally. She's always running here and there. Jasper in novice and agility. Click in prenovice and agility. Eddie in showmanship. Clairee in open. All in all, she's doing good with her dogs. Of course Clairee has been shown by every member of the family so she's got the hang of it, now just trying to get her new handler to figure out her buttons. Jasper is going to do double duty and work in 4-H on Tuesdays, then take a competition class on Thursdays-that one's a tough boy to crack. Still working on some issues with him and his dislike of big blue dogs. Click-now that's one who never stops amazing me. Regardless of the situation, she's ready to work, ready to go and I haven't touched that one at all-all Meredith and really tells me that kid's got a nack for training. Last but not least, Eddie. He gets the easy job of the night-stand and look pretty. Showmanship is going to be a tough class to judge this year. Don't envy that person's job. Some really good kids out there.

Moose got to come along. Is there ever any doubt that the boy would have to stay home while Mom goes out and has fun? One gal had to leave her dog at home so Moose played substitue last night and worked with a stranger. Makes one feel good that you can hand off one of your own dogs and they will help teach someone else the ropes. Granted I did get a few looks from across the ring of -hey Mom, what's happen'? But the other end of the leash person produces hot dogs and I'm just a memory. Loyalty, eh?

So happy, happy, joy, joy, if I can get past the dust, eye goobers, asmtha attacks and sand in my shoes, then it really will be a joy to go each Tuesday and teach. Or should I say learn-all of the kids are wonderful and I in turn learn from them each time we work together. Now that really does say something for the next generation!

Later gators....

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